Based on the answere here: What would happen to Elysium after citizenship is given to all humans?

Dispatching medical drop-ships at the end of the movie, "Elysium" would do absolutely nothing practical to improve the overall quality of life for the average human; but was used in the movie as a "stopgap measure to solve the focus of the movie" and to "wrap everything up for that neat Hollywood happy ending that leaves you wondering."

Supposing that Elysium had been legitimately transformed on some political level so that every politician was then personally dedicated to using Elysium's resources to fix the earth...

Would they be able to make any drastic, permanent, sustainable improvements?

How would these improvements be implemented?

*please approach this concept with a degree rational scepticism. For example, improved healthcare leads to overpopulation, which leads to increased poverty. However, birth control can lead economic recession which also leads to increased poverty.

  • $\begingroup$ There are 2 correct answers to this question, both yes and no, depending on how people answer the implementation portion of this question, which is largely idea generation. How will you judge the answers? At the current time, this question is very opinion based. Please edit your question :) $\endgroup$
    – Aify
    Commented Nov 25, 2015 at 6:59

2 Answers 2


Elysium's improvements to the world would be less about the use of their resources and more about sharing technology and know how.

They understand efficient use of closed ecosystems.

All real world attempts to create a self sustaining closed ecosystem haven't lasted very long. Even if Elysium isn't 100% closed, the fact is if they don't need regular food shipments, they're doing something great, and that know-how could drastically improve the life of people on Earth, if used for crops, medicine, and livestock.

Robot Labor

When your robots are no longer being used as violent overseers, but actually to do labor, well, that's a mass of labor output you've gained. Better housing, structures, can be made with the materials available.

The populace can instead be focused on education and directed towards research in further advances in ecological science, biotech, science, etc. to continue the tech advancements necessary to restore Earth. The reeducation might not be as difficult as one might suspect - after all, it's clear in the movie that the gang members had people on their team who could handle spaceflight, cryptography, and more...

Potential decontamination projects

If their medicine can pull out toxins or contaminants from a human body, who's to say it can't be pulled out of water, soil or plants? That might be a long term project given the scope of pollution shown in the movie, but it'd be better than nothing.

If you combine this technology with various plant species which are known to suck up heavy metals, radioactive materials and other toxic substances, cleanup becomes much easier.

Easy Space Travel means Easy Disposal of Waste

If trips up to space are short, easy, and regular, there's no reason to leave the unfixable toxic materials on Earth. We can simply launch them away from the planet, or, if for some reason we might want to recycle them later, put a storage base on the moon.


The biggest problem is that effectively Earth has been a repressed dictatorship for quite some time. When you rule a country with repressive force, and remove that, it's very hard to stabilize right after - there's a lot of old bad blood between everyone, and a tendency to replicate the violence everyone's lived under for so long.

So the first issue is not having things devolve into a bloodbath. Assuming you manage that, and get to a stable government (whether that's a single world government, or several countries again), then you have to figure out how to institute the changes. Some people will be suspicious of the new set up, some will try to take power and keep others out, etc.

The problems are political because the root issue was political: any group that had enough power to forcibly repress the entire population with robots COULD have instead used that power to try to stop the pollution, set up sensible policies both in birth control, education and food access instead.

Any research done on Elysium about "fixing the Earth" are probably also mired into genocidal eugenics type plans as well - ethically unfeasible and probably politically explosive to even hear about for the public.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting angle on the alternate use of their medical tech on other organic life. I do think that the film glossed over how easy it was for them to reach orbit; their advanced engine technology is clearly being under-utilized. $\endgroup$
    – Wingman4l7
    Commented Dec 23, 2015 at 19:34

There are two possibilities.

  1. The resources of Elysium are limited. The limits on citizenship were placed because only a limited number of people could be taken care in a sustained manner.
  2. The resources of Elysium are effectively unlimited. The limits on citizenship were in place because the builders were jerks (vast understatement).

If #1 is the case, then there really won't be a change to the general public. The waiting list to be stuck in the magic doc-in-a-box will quickly become so large that most people will still never be able to make use of it.

If #2 is the case, then general quality of life will go up with chronic diseases and crippling injuries being able to be cured or repaired.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .